Five Wonderful Winter Walks

Five Wonderful Winter Walks

This winter why not embrace the great outdoors and venture out into the spectacular countryside of Herefordshire. With stunning countryside, wonderful woodlands and spectacular views to discover, above all the best way to see it all is on foot. Therefore here’s our favourite five wonderful winter walks that will inspire you to move away from that warm hearth, head outside and blow those cobwebs away.

Haugh Woods, Located between Mordiford and Woolhope, HR1 4QX

The ancient woodland at Haugh woods is full of beauty and charm and is a haven for cyclists, walkers, nature lovers and photographers. With over 850 acres to explore of walking, cycling and butterfly trails, this is a popular destination for families and dog walkers. The two most popular walks are the Three Choirs Way and the Wye Valley Walk which skirt the edge of the woods, however it also links with the Mordiford Loop a circular trail taking you through traditional orchards, woodland and more beautiful countryside.

The name Haugh, which is pronounced “Hoff” is derived from the name of a Saxon owner indicating that this is the site of an ancient wood. Haugh Woods, is nationally important for butterflies and moths, with over 600 species recorded within it. This therefore it makes the wood one of the top 10 woods in the country and is designated as a SSSI due to the presence of these invertebrates.

So wrap up and enjoy discovering the beauties hidden within this pretty woodland this winter.

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Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum, Dinmore Hill Leominster HR6 0PY

One of the loveliest places to visit for a peaceful walk is Queenswood Country Park & Arboretum, the views are just breath taking and watching the change of seasons in this amazing 123 acre ancient woodland is just divine. Its wonderful arboretum, a 47 acre tree collection with over 1,200 rare and exotic trees is an absolute delight and the enchanting woodland is a fragment of the oak wood that once stretched to the Welsh borders and beyond.

A place where nature flourishes, providing us with a dramatic show of colours, fragrances and wildlife all throughout the year. It’s the place where generations of Herefordshire families have taken their children to explore nature, walk the dogs and enjoy some time together.

Once part of the Hampton Court Estate during the 17th century, Queenswood Country Park & Arboretum is now designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Local Nature Reserve (LNR).

It’s one of those wonderful places that you just don’t want to leave and perfect for a wonderful winter stroll.

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Offa’s Dyke, Herefordshire

In the north west of Herefordshire the countryside is deeply rural area with breath taking countryside, rolling hills, ancient woods, forests and water meadows and if you’re seriously ready for a good walk then head across to Offa’s Dyke.

Built in the 8th Century Offa’s Dyke is an old earthwork boundary between England and Wales, running along the 80 miles between the Wye Valley and Wrexham and built by order of King Offa of the ancient kingdom of Mercia who reigned from AD 757 to 796.

Offa had seized power during a time of great unrest, when the skirmishes between the English and the Welsh were frequent and rife. In a bid to quell the unruly Welsh and in a show of power he built one of the most outstanding structures in Britain, Offa’s Dyke.

The Offa’s Dyke Path, a National Trail, has been created following the line of the dyke and the trail and heads through some of the most beautiful countryside full of outstanding panoramic views. The superb walks through the Herefordshire and Wye Valley section will definitely get you warmed up and make you glad that you ventured outdoors.

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Wye Valley Walk, Herefordshire

The Wye Valley Walk follows the river valley from Monmouthshire to the slopes of Plynlimon in Powys, passing through The Wye Valley AONB, Ross on Wye, Symonds Yat, Hereford, and Hay on Wye. The Herefordshire section of the walk is just glorious with rolling lush landscapes, fields, woodland glades and traditional Herefordshire orchards. It’s also the perfect opportunity to explore some of Herefordshire’s quaint black and white villages not to mention quench your thirst in some of the lovely hostelries en-route. Look out for the leaping salmon logo that will guide you on your way and most importantly take a moment to enjoy the gorgeous views.

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St Thomas Way

A new heritage route from Swansea to Hereford, inspired by a real medieval pilgrimage

The St Thomas Way is a series of hiking paths based on the supposed pilgrimage of a medieval warrior who came back to life after being executed for fighting against the English is to open in the Welsh Marches. This wonderful trail is not one continuous path but a series of individual circular walks of between 2 and 8 miles.

So if you just fancy a stroll rather than a hike, these fabulous walks are just the ticket. The locations in Herefordshire which feature on The St Thomas Way are wonderful areas to explore with historical interest.

Discover the Norman church in Kilpeck with its amazing 12th-century Romanesque carvings of strange and fantastic creatures and the lost medieval village. Get lost in the history of Longtown village and its castle which lie amid the awe-inspiring landscape of the Black Mountains or embark on your journey of exploration in Hereford City where the shrine of St Thomas Cantilupe can be found in Hereford Cathedral.

Launched in 2018 The St Thomas Way is proving very popular with walkers and historians who want to explore the pilgrimage trail and enjoy the beauty of Herefordshire’s landscapes at the same time.

We’re sure you’ll really enjoy these excellent circular walks as you venture into a little bit of Marcher history.

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Featured image: Cliff Spooner